We have waited. Oh, how we have waited. We have waited ever so patiently. We have waited since the building at 1236 Michigan Avenue looked like this:
And have watched it slowly but surely transform to this:
And now, after all that waiting, the time has come: Detroit, LET THERE BE BAGELS!
What are your plans this Thanksgiving Day? Are you going to head over to Woodward and watch the newly extended and expanded America's Thanksgiving Day Parade? Are you going to head over to Ford Field for the Lions game? Well, here is yet another reason to give thanks this Thursday: now you can start your day with a some hot toasted bagel action thanks to Detroit Institute of Bagels, which will be officially opening their doors to the public on Thanksgiving Day!
We have watched this for nearly three years now ("we" including both you, dear readers, and the royal we, as in EID personally) as DIB has evolved from just another spirited startup in a home kitchen in Corktown to a full-fledged bagel bakery and cafe located right on Corktown's main business drag on the fast-growing eastern end where Brooklyn Street Local opened last year, MotorCity Wine opened earlier this year, Rubbed will open soon, as well as a second Bucharest Grill location. We have watched them compete in the first-ever Hatch Detroit contest, and lose more gracefully than anyone has ever lost. We watched them raise a modest $10,000 via crowdfunding and move forward with their plans to open the best-designed bagel shop in the world. We have eagerly watched their progress on TwitGramstaBook, and now, after all that time - and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears out of owner Ben Newman, no doubt, while we've all just been all like, "WHY AREN'T YOU OPEN YET ALREADY NOW OPEN OPEN OPEN" - Detroit shall be a bagel desert no more!
That needs more exclamation points.
Detroit shall be a bagel desert no more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reading back on my first interview with owner and bagel maker Ben is almost like traveling back in time. It was spring 2011 - in those moments just as Detroit: The Renaissance was really starting to hit - and my, things were very, very different then, even just a short two and a half years ago. I mean, I wrote, "Not only are the greater downtown districts of Detroit sorely lacking in decent coffee shops…" AND IT WAS TRUE! It was so, so true back then. Now you can't swing a hipster without hitting a cafe of high design and varying levels of coffee quality. The whole idea of the local artisan food producer was still so new (so new!), and pop-ups were barely a glimmer in anyone's eye (except for Hugh's).
A lot of people open restaurants. (And bakeries and cafes and whatnot.) Not a lot of people fight this hard for this long to make it happen. Ben's bagel dreams are finally becoming reality, and Detroit will never be bagel-less again. AS GOD IS HIS WITNESS, WE'LL NEVER BE HUNGRY FOR BAGELS AGAIN!